East Indies
November 1624, 12-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1878

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439-448

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'East Indies: November 1624, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4: 1622-1624 (1878), pp. 439-448. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69789 Date accessed: 24 October 2014.


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Nov 1624, 12-20

Nov. 12.673. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Fotherby's orders for the government of the yard at Blackwall read and ap proved; also he was required to conceive some order to restrain the workmen's resort to the taphouse at other than meal times. Complaint against Mr. Morgan that the beer of the Swallow falls out to be very bad; it was said the Company had been careful to avoid taking beer from Dutchmen, and yet Morgan hath a Dutchman employed in his brewing, and that it is a very easy matter, by casting in some small thing into the copper to the quantity of a nut, to spoil a whole brewing; he promised careful amendment for the future, and that he would forthwith put away his Dutch brewer for the avoiding of all suspicion. Information that Roger Cole, a mariner, was left ashore in the Downs, and John Prowse entertained to supply his place. Letter read from Sec. Conway, dated at Newhall, the 6th November, with copy of one from Sir Dudley Carleton, wherein is expressed "that there is such care and diligence used as the present state of their affairs will permit;" the Court held it fit not to attend these slow despatches, but to send an express to follow the business there. Petition of Capt. Michael Greene for an umpire in his business with the Company; copy of their last order to be delivered to him. Complaint of Mr. Munden that John Baron, mariner, had commenced suit against him in the Admiralty, for silk which he took from him in the Indies as belonging to the Company. [Four pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VII., 195–199.]
Nov. 12.674. The East India Company to Sec. Conway. Acknowledge his letter and inclosure (from Carleton) from Newhall [of 10th inst.], which have confirmed their resolution of sending an express to the Lord Ambassador. Have made choice of the bearer, John Yonge, who they recommend to Conway, and intreat that he will grace with the title of messenger, from himself, by which the Lord Ambassador may take occasion to require a more speedy answer from the States than otherwise the dilatory proceedings of that State will admit, for without it our resolutions will be but uncertainties, our ships' departure will be protracted so long that the lives of his Majesty's subjects and our stocks in the Indies will be exposed as a prey to the Netherlands ministers there, from whom we can expect no better quarter than woefull experience hath too often taught us, unless by such an overruling command their insolent proceedings be restrained. Signed by Morris Abbott, Govr., Christ, Clitherow, Deputy, Ro. Ducie, Aldn. Nic. Leatt, Thos. Westrowe, Thos. Mun, Christ. Eyre, Gyles Martyn, Rich. Ven, Tho. Style, Ant. Abdi, and Job Harbie, and sealed with the seal of the Company. [One paqe and a half. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 51.]
Nov. 12/22.
Madrid.
675. Sir Walter Aston to Sir Dudley Carleton. "Your Lord ship will do me a favor to acquaint me what satisfaction is given unto his Majesty for the barbarous murdering of the English factors in the Indies." [Extract from Spanish Corresp.]
Nov. (15).
Swally Bar.
676. Jo. Weddell and Henry Wheteley, of the Royal James, to the East India Company. Account of their voyage in company with the Jonas, Eagle, Star, Spy, and Scout, from their departure from the Downs, 28th March last. On 21st August made the island of St. Lawrence, and on the 81st Mohilla, where they sent a present to the King and found him very affable. Crossed the line on 11th Sept., accompanied with the Star only, and on 18th anchored in Swally road, where they found the William and Blessing, and four Dutch ships, together with the Jonas, Spy, and Scout; the Eagle being sent to look for the Ann. The bread in the whole fleet very bad; the proportion of water insufficient; the beef not fit for men; the canvas so slight that it went in pieces with every gale; the bolt ropes all too small. Describe the sailing qualities of the Star, Eagle, James, and Jonas. Have enclosed the names of those deceased. Had good quarter with the Saldanians, who showed themselves very affable and tractable, and "not of so base and beastlike disposition and void of all reason as commonly it hath been reported of them." Gave them brass and iron hoops in exchange for beeves and sheep. At first they began to steal, after their accustomed manner, but when told thereof, the better sort offered it no more; they brought down one elephant's tooth of 14 lbs. net, and two sea-horse teeth of 4 lbs., for which was given six pieces of brass. Think some trade may be had by them. Having intelligence that the Portugal has great forces in readiness, both English and Dutch fleets are to depart for Gombroon. [Five pages, much mutilated by damp. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1168.]
Nov. 15.
Aboard the Jonas, Port Swally.
677. Thomas Kerridge to the East India Company. Refers to letter of June 22nd; written aboard the Royal James, for an advertisement of such occurrences as happened till then. Anchored in Saldanha Bay 19th July, where they found the Scout, and perceived by inscriptions on stones that the Dolphin had departed thence homeward bound from Surat in April last, but could not find any letters, though inscriptions mentioned some to be left there, which appeared plainly to be disinterred by the Dutch or Danes. The wholesomeness of the air and the herb baths caused the most part of their sick men to recover in ten days from the "scurbeck." Received letter left by Robert Johnson at Mohilla that the Royal Ann, laden with pepper, from Batavia, had departed thence four days before towards Surat in a lamentable condition. Arrived at Surat Bar 7th October, and found the William and Blessing; all this fleet have arrived safely at this port but the Ann. Complaints of the bread and beef, which is so defective and noisome that great part will be thrown overboard; also of the small store of sails. One thousand weight of quicksilver at least lost through leakage, and the ship also endamaged. This commodity has come to a very good market. Great alteration in the state of their affairs in these parts. All differences upon the stopping of the junks again called in question, and their servants in all places of this kingdom have been put in irons and imprisoned, and restitution enforced with extortions besides; but they have since re-obtained their liberty and are in expectation of the king's firman. Davis' unseasonable robbing of a small vessel of Aden, and the taking of several Turks upon a junk of Choul, has made the Red Sea and Mocha inaccessible, except the Grand Signor's command be procured for remission of the past and future safe reception, till when Dabul will not be worth the charge of a factory. In Persia little has been granted "to your main desires," as will be seen by advices sent by the Dolphin. Has so little hope to procure the Company's content in regard of their advice for further treaties with the Khan, trial at Ormuz, and consent of service to the Persian in his wars with the Portugals, that he wishes he had not been assigned to go with this fleet to Persia. Muscat, if taken, "is a beggarly poor town," but report affirms that the Portugal's shipping is not only sufficient for its own defence, but for the offence such as shall come thither. Ormuz is become a ruined heap, though the castle [is] fortified, which, if the Persian be able to keep, can never be reduced to its former trade so long as the Portugal has strength to intercept the Indians that trade there, whereby the place will continue unfrequented and unpeopled, save only by soldiers and poor people constrained to live there, so that if the trade in Persia be not worth the following, Ormuz is a poor incouragement to its continuance. A very sensible misery it is that the Company's ships should go thither these two last years and now again, to very little or no purpose; for either the Company must resolve to follow that trade, or absolutely to give it over. But the Dutch are entered there, and have landed a good cavidal of goods, which will give cause of question to the world why your worships should refuse that which their Company so much pursue, "and this is the point of mainest consequence." Intreats that their further order in their next advice may be absolute. Amount received for customs at Ormuz and Gombroon the past year. To make the Gulf free by some great overthrow to the Portugal he desires instructions may be given by the Dutch Company to their servants here "for association," either defensive or offensive, without attending order from Batavia. The William and Blessing now intended for England; hopes the Eagle will be dispeeded end of February, after their return from Ormuz. The particular commodities vendible in these parts which the Company should send are cloth of gold and silver, a pair or two of great fair orient pearls, by sale of which to regain their friends in the King's court, crimson, green, yellow, and other fresh colour satins, scarlet velvets, plushes, and stuffs, gold lace, plumes of feathers, &c. for the King's court, where it is requisite to have an agent continually resident; and withall three or four dozen combcases yearly, also 20 or 30 cases of strong waters, and eight or ten dozen knives for presents, &c. The main lading of these ships is Cirquez indigo. The quantities of calicoes and linen the Company wish provided require the resettling of factories which were last year dissolved, and as most that are in the country whose time has expired can hardly be induced to stay, six or seven bred merchants should be sent over to accomplish the number of a solid council, to be continually resident at Surat, to be divided in the several depending factories. An agent of reputation, with the King's letter and some fitting present to the Sophy, is likewise necessary, if any trade of moment is to be settled in Persia. Cannot advise the future disposition of this shipping, not knowing what occasion the Persian may have to employ them, but the commander has expressed his willingness to waylay the Portugal caracs at Mozambique. Whether the Dutch have power or will join is uncertain. The Danes two several years have laden a ship of 300 tons with ebony from Mauritius, where there is abundance to be had for the cutting. Proposes sending a small ship thither annually to procure ebony as ballast homeward bound. After the dispeed of these intended ships for England and the supplies for southwards, the Company's stock will be very small in these parts, a great sum of ready money having been sent upon the Reformation last year for Batavia. As to sending six or seven bred merchants, his meaning is not to dissuade from younger men for inferior places, the want being general. [Seven pages. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1169.]
Nov. 15.
The Hague.
678. Carleton to Sec. Conway. Some of the Bewinthebbers are dead; those of most note, Poppen and Hermanson, who from poor beginnings raised their estates, the one to eight, the other to seven tons of gold, but not without public clamour against their rapine. The Bewinthebbers have been for the most part here all this week past, and some still remain, not very well contented with the resolution they find in the States neither to support them nor their ministers in the violence of their proceedings, but to have a strict account for what is past, and a reglement for the future, such as may give his Majesty satisfaction. This hath caused much dispute and debate, and has been the whole week's work of this place. Will send particularities when the business is brought to maturity, and that the States' promise will be before the end of this week. The Prince of Orange suspends his answer to the Duke of Buckingham's letter till he may make such a one as may give contentment. His presence helps much to the furtherance of the business. [Extract from Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 16.
The Hague.
679. Carleton to John Chamberlain. The air of Zealand is grown ill and contagious; out of the 17 directors of this East India Company lately assembled there in full college, the most part are returned sick and four or five since dead. Unless this Company yield to reason for our men's satisfaction, the States will leave them to themselves, and so have plainly told them; wherewith they are much troubled, as with a great change of their affairs, which heretofore, right or wrong, were ever supported by the State, to which their will and decree served as a law. [Extract from Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 17.680. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Offer of Capt. Blythe to go as commander of the fleet now to be sent to Surat; he was requested to attend on Friday concerning his wages and other conditions for the voyage. Request of Francis Wadlowe to take out his dividend according to the proportion of his adventure, about which there is question between him and Mr. Palmer. Petition of Welden for the Company's assistance, Powell having arrested him for goods which he has put to the Company's account. Sir Thos. Roe's last letter to be brought to the Court on Friday next, to be answered. Report of Mr. Martyn that he finds a great sum of money coming to [Rich.] Fursland, deceased, late the Company's President in the Indies, over and above his wages; the Court thought fit to examine the business further, lest the example in so eminent a servant might countenance private trade; and that [Geo.] Robinson, late factor at Acheen, be at the Court on Friday next. On consideration of Woodcock's petition, directions were given to Mr. Ellam to report what he finds in Monnox's journal concerning said Woodcock, late master of the Whale. Touching the business between Capt. Watts and Pike. Letters read from Mr Barlow concerning some frivolous evasionswhich the Dutch seek in the payment of 23,000 ryals ordered by the last treaty; the letter to be answered, and a formal protest made thereon. The Lord Admiral to be informed that the Dutch ships, which may soon be expected to pass through the Narrow Seas for the Indies, come in great strength to the number of seven or eight, set forth in warlike manner, and that on the other side the Narrow Seas are guarded by only two of his Majesty's ships, a third being casually lost, lest they force their way through the Narrow Seas, to the dishonour of his Majesty and defeat of the service; also the last letter from Carleton to be shown to Sec. Conway, and to relate to him the weak and shameless defence now last made by the Dutch to palliate the villany committed at Amboyna. Concerning the trade with Persia, if the Company may enjoy half the customs of Ormuz, the trade may be worth the embracing, all reasons and circumstances to be well weighed, and the consideration thereof referred to Wednesday. Copy of a decree in Chancery was presented in the case between Mrs. Wickham, plaintiff, and the Company; ordered that in obedience thereto the several sums therein appointed be paid. The Court having understood that the Dutch East India Company deny to have tortured Collins, it was questioned whether Sharrock should be allowed to go in the London, lest his testimony should be required. Collins re-affirmed "that he endured the torture of water, as he had deposed in the Admiralty; the same was also confirmed by Wm. Webber, who saw him come forth all wet, his eyes starting out in his head, heard him cry very pitifully, and his hands so hurt with the binding as he could not use his pen 7 weeks after." Concerning the place of "ancient" in the Company's intended fort to be erected in the Indies, and the wages required by Phillip Hill. Complaint of Susan, widow of Edward Withers, touching goods charged 'to her husband's account, instead of Thos. Bancks. [Four pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., 199–203.]
Nov. 18.681. [Sec. Conway] to Sir John Coke. The King has long since taken to heart the proposition of the Persian Ambassador for drawing the trade of Persia silks into this kingdom, but jealousy, malice, or covetousness hath made the East India Company so averse that all the reasons urged by the Privy Council could not move them. The King, the Prince, and the Duke are confirmed in their resolutions to push on the proposition. Sends Mr. Stiles, who can throw much light upon it, and in whom the King commits much trust, and wishes to know how it is to be done, what commission should be had from the King, what number of ships, and what profits can be held out, to draw in adventurers to join with the Prince, Duke, and other nobles in this action, a main point being to render the voyage possible this year. [Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXXIV., No. 84, Cal., p. 381.]
Nov. 19.682. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Capt. Blythe offered his service as chief commander of the fleet bound for Surat, but demanded the same wages as had been given to Capt. Shilling; but the Court would only give as they had given to Capt. Weddall, who went chief to Surat; so they broke off. A proposal to send a pinnace with the Palsgrave and Lion, "were it but for advice," rejected. Committee to attend Sir Henry Marten in Mr. Bate's business. Report by Tichborne of the state of the Company's businesses in Chancery, viz., of Mr. Denton, Messrs. Burrell and Belt, and George Ball. Information from Mr. Barlow, that where they were to receive from the Netherlands Company 23,000 ryals without abatement upon any pretence whatsoever, they pay him short; resolved to insist on the words of the late treaty, and therefore wrote to that purpose, both to the Mayors and to Barlow. Letter to be drawn to Sir Dudley Carleton, concerning the answer of the Mayors touching the business of Amboyna, which the Company find to be frivolous and of no validity to give satisfaction in so hateful and bloody a cause, with which letter they purpose to send John Yonge, who is employed as an express from Sec. Conway, with his Majesty's packet, and is also to carry a number of the printed books in defence of this Company and their servants in said business of Amboyna. That Mr. Misselden doth take in exceeding thankful part the gratification sent him from the Company, for his pains taken as a commissioner to treat with the Dutch. Examination of [Geo.] Robinson; that he had sold 36 diamonds for Mr. Fursland to the King of Acheen, but invested the money in commodities for the Company's account; also that English gold is very profitable at the Moluccas. Hearing of a business between Mr. Munden, sometime master in the Exchange, and [John] Baron, for a bale of silk. Suit of Woodcock for his wages: by [Edward] Monnox's journal it appeared that Woodcock had gotten an unknown booty at Ormuz, whereof no account is come to the Company, besides the loss of the Whale, of which he had charge; Woodcock endeavoured to wash off these accusations with bare denials, but the Court was altogether unsatisfied with his answers. [Three pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 204–207.]
Nov. 19.
Saxson [? Saxton].
683. Sir Robert Sherley to Sir John Coke. Although a stranger to Coke, yet "these affairs" and the King's commandment makes him address these lines to him, and the bearer, Mr. Richard Steele, having had a part of managing this great business, which has been disputed divers times before his Majesty's Privy Council, can give Coke so much satisfaction as Sir Robert hopes his absence from London will be no hindrance. Is confident in his noble and judicial consideration, and prays for a speedy despatch. And because the benefit of this expedition is in a manner in equal balance to the King of Persia, Sherley's master, he will with all willingness make a grateful acknowledgment to those that shall set their helping hands to the furtherance of it. Sends, by order from the Duke, the business he propounded to his Majesty, "awarranting it feasable agaynst all objecttions." Probably copy of the inclosure to Sherley's letter to Sec. Conway of 24 Aug. 1624; see No. 570. I. [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 52.]
Nov. 20.684. [The East India Company] to Carleton. Have received the confession of Mareschalk, and the narration of the Bewinthebbers [see ante No. 661, inclosures I., II.], and send rough draft of answer thereto, not yet polished for the press. Think it fit to certify the impudence of Mareschalk in affirming that Collins was not tortured, the which Collins hath not only justified upon oath in the Admiralty, and before the President and Council, but has also produced three witnesses, who saw him go in to be tortured, heard him many times roar very pitifully, being in the next room, and saw him come out, having no doublet on, his shirt all wet, his face swollen and his eyes starting out of his head, "at sight whereof they were much amazed." Those three witnesses, vizt., George Sharrock, William Webber, and Ephraim Ramsey together with Collins offer themselves willingly to come into Holland, there to justify it to Mareschalk's face; which the Company wish, if Carleton think it so fitting. Collins is now sent with two committees to acquaint the King at Newmarket with the falsehood of their allegations. Acknowledge their great obligations for his extraordinary pains in going to the camp to solicit the Prince of Orange, for the obtaining of their three demands recommended by Sec. Conway; it would give a great encouragement to all the adventurers, if procured to be sent to the Indies by the London, "who" will be ready to depart within a month. Incloses,
684. I. "A provisional answer to the attestation of Lawrence Mareschalk and to the rest of the 15 new arguments alledged in justification of the process against the English at Amboyna" [see ante, No. 661, inclosures I., II.]. That Mareschalk is no competent witness being himself the chief party next the Governor, that the Dutch had no jurisdiction over the English as appears by the 30th article of Treaty of 1619, and the explanation; but admitting jurisdiction, then Mareschalk being accused of injustice, his own testimony is not to be received, for he will not spare to sware falsely to save himself from condign punishment. As to the Japans and the English persisting in their confessions out of irons and pain, the contrary is affirmed by oath not only of the English who were condemned and pardoned, but also of those who were acquitted, who being with the condemned in the same room saw the irons still upon them, and upon Clarke, who was so inhumanly tortured until the very morning of the execution day. The confession of Webber touching Clarke's is acknowledged by the English relation, but it is false that Clarke confessed to have written such a letter as appears even by the acts themselves of the council of Amboyna where no such thing is mentioned; Webber confessed this letter to avoid torture. That Edward Collins was examined without torture appears to be false by his own testimony and that of others who saw him come out of the torturor's shop all wet and his eyes staring and strutting out of their place, at the sight of which Colson was affrighted from enduring any torture, neither did Collins ever speak with Capt. Towerson from the time of their apprehension or ever see him, as in the relation is set down; neither did any of the English ever speak with Towerson until the execution, except only Colson, Griggs, and Fardo. And this all the English here are ready to aver upon oath. If the deposition of Mareschalk that Collins knelt down to Towerson were not a gross fiction it would never have been omitted in the acts, That the confessions of Thompson are forgeries of Mareschalk, for if Thompson had spoken as reported it would have been in the acts, and the like may be said of all the rest of the matters concerning Towerson especially of the letter of Towerson to Colson, an authentic copy of which might have done great service and would not have been omitted in the acts. That it is impossible that the words reported to be spoken by Towerson are true because he was never with the rest of the English before the Council, and the speech itself is senseless and absurd, that Towerson should make the revealing of the plot a judgment of God for their drunkenness and whoredom, and not rather for the heinousness and bloodiness of the project itself. It is true that Towerson, being a very godly man, did at the place of execution charge Price and some others that their drunkenness and ill-life had caused God to lay this punishment upon them, although guiltless of the fact, and he admonished them to ask mercy at God's hands for their sinful lives which they all did, protesting that they were innocent of the pretended treason. That both Collins and Beaumont upon oath utterly deny refusing to eat with the Dutch, for remorse of their fault. As to Governor Houtman's testimony; Sharrock denies prostrating himself at Governor Houtman's feet and acknowledging his fault, and so does Beaumont that he confessed his fault and craved pardon of the Dutch General or confessed his guilt to the English President at Jacatra. As for Houtman's testimony that the torture of water is usual in the criminal process of the Dutch in the Indies, the poor Pooloroons and the English are proofs enough; but why say nothing of the torture of fire since that is also used there? As for the easiness of water torture some of the English that endured both fire and water say water torture was the more extreme for the time. And what if torture be used by the Dutch in the Indies is it lawful? It rests to be proved whether the laws and customs of the United Provinces allow torture which Englishmen, neighbours, and those who have long lived in said provinces never heard of before. The justification says that divers English who depose they were tortured with fire and water were not once touched with either, but not one is named. The English relation names Johnson, Thompson, and Clarke to have been tortured with fire; which of those will the Dutch deny to have been so used, against such clear evidence. The Dutch labour to gain a dilatory examination of this cause in the Indies hoping that in the interim the whole matter will cool or die or that something may happen to envelop the whole business in everlasting darkness. Indorsed by Carleton, "Provisional answer to Hautman's and Marshalk's depositions." [Eight pages and a half. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 20.685. Sec. Conway to Carleton. Carleton's earnestness in pressing for a resolution from the States has given the King full and ample satisfaction, but his Majesty can hold nothing satisfactory from them but actual justice and reparation, and until that be given will not recall any part of the former direction for making stay of their ships, but pursues that resolution with constancy, whatsoever the success fall out to be; and although his letters give good assurance of a speedy and satisfactory answer from the States, the merchants have importuned the sending over to him an express messenger "that may be continually in your eye" and haste him away with the expected despatch with all diligence. This bearer is appointed to perform that duty. Hopes the States deceive not his judgment in their real intentions, and that effects will be produced answerable to the correspondency which every good patriot sees requisite to be maintained between this Crown and that State. [One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 20.686. Sec. Conway to Sir Walter Aston. Is commanded to let him know the true causes for the preparations of his Majesty's ships, which indeed goes on so slowly as it scarce looks like preparing; first, upon the insolencies of the Dutch East India Company in Amboyna, his Majesty not receiving the satisfaction he expected, made an ordinance to stay their ships if by a certain day reparation were not made, and for making good that ordinance has given order to prepare some ships. There are three drafts of this letter, one being dated 24th Nov. [Extract from Spanish Corresp.]